Ray Krone was a former supporter of the death penalty in the U.S. when he believed that it was fair punishment for the worst-of-the-worst monsters in our society. That was before he was wrongfully portrayed by police and prosecutors as one of those monsters.
A seven-year postal worker, who had served in the military and had no criminal record, Krone was wrongfully convicted on dubious bite mark evidence of the murder of a 36-year-old Phoenix woman in a bar where she worked. He was sentenced to death and spent more than ten years in prison before crime scene DNA proved his innocence and linked to Kenneth Phillips, an incarcerated felon who had lived near the victim.
Ray Krone, the 100th death row inmate freed due to innocence since reestablishment of the death penalty in the U.S. in 1976, now works for Witness to Innocence, an advocacy group that seeks to abolish the death penalty.
His moving testimony here of how his wrongful conviction of murder impacted his life and that of his family illustrates how wrongful conviction has refocused the death penalty debate: “We get it wrong. We make mistakes. We can’t have a punishment that is not reversible…Executing an innocent person has most likely happened and will continue to happen until we do away with the death penalty.”